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08/07/2020 - PRESS RELEASE

Covid is not holding back the Tdo/La Versa balance sheet: a slight increase on last year

President Giorgi: Despite the lockdown, we are closing another positive year and are looking forward by improving the quality of our grapes and wines

Covid is not holding back the future of the Terre d’Oltrepò/La Versa cooperative winery. Despite two months of lockdown in March and April, this company from the Oltrepò Pavese region, led by president Andrea Giorgi, has confirmed its turnover from the past financial year and is closing its balance sheet at €32 million. This brings the good news of a slight increase on last year (a figure which is still being processed, but is already there for us to see).

“This good result”, explained the top boss of this winery based in Broni, “shows how the efforts made commercially and in terms of communication are paying off. This is obviously not enough and we have also therefore implemented quality measures at the vineyard, as proven by the project linked to the winemaker Riccardo Cotarella, which has allowed us to release wines onto the market that are receiving good reviews from critics and, above all, from wine-lovers. We have been collectively working hard on this job every day on several fronts since 2017, a job that has been possible thanks to our close-knit team in all respects: from the vineyard to the winery, and from the administrative to the commercial sides. I would therefore like to thank all the staff because, at such a tricky time, it is only through a professional attitude that you can achieve specific results like our current figures”.

An intense in-house communication campaign has also been launched, aimed at keeping the over 700 shareholders up-to-date on administrative and agronomic issues. “The shareholders represent the backbone of our cooperative”, explained Mr Giorgi, “and so they need to be kept up-to-date about what we are doing. A few weeks ago, we created an in-house newsletter that provides managerial information and covers economic and commercial issues. This has been joined by our agricultural newsletter by our agronomist, Nicola Parisi, which provides a weekly overview of the situation in the countryside”.

It is time for this winery in Broni to take stock, but also to lay the foundations for the future. “It is very difficult to provide an outlook at the moment”, explained president Giorgi, “but it is our job to look forward regardless of the precarious, uncertain situation caused by the health emergency. It is pointless denying that future prospects are uncertain due to how Coronavirus is progressing and the consequences it might have on the market. The path we have taken, as already outlined over the last few years, is to promote high-quality products such as our DOC Riesling compared with the traditional IGT version. The latter is suffering on the market as it is considered a mass-produced product and the large quantity of this grape made by the shareholders is a problem which it is facing with the stark fall in price over the last few years. Just by looking back, we all know what this grape variety unfortunately used to represent for the history of our region and our winery. Firstly, it was the subject of much speculation perpetuated by the major processors in the mid twentieth century against shareholders and producers without letting them invest commercially in the product. Secondly, it was the subject of scandals which brought our large cooperative company to its knees. Riesling now has the chance to be relaunched thanks to the Rhine version; it should become a flagship product that will join the other high-end products in our line of wines. Our Quality Project with the winemaker, Riccardo Cotarella, is moving in this direction, i.e. promoting an iconic product for all of us. Only in this way will we be able to ensure that shareholders are paid fairly for this grape and make this product easy to sell”. In order to improve quality, president Giorgi made an invitation to shareholders in view of the upcoming grape harvest: “The timeliness of the grape harvest will be essential for preserving the characteristics of the sparkling wine bases which require freshness and the right pH level, rather than their sugar content. I should add that in one week it will no longer be possible to pick the grapes by hand with staff provided by the winery. Please contact us for more information”.